In the present-day startup world, warm introductions to potential investors still play an important role. However, the industries grow, and the number of VC firms is now bigger than before, and many of them are willing to get beyond their closed circle of acquaintances. Most of VCs still prefer to pick a company by researching it first, but cold emails can certainly get their attention and bring you investment on board.
Below are the 7 tips for cold-emailing potentials investors that can help your startup get a funding.
- Research them well before you email them
Before you start crafting your email, it is important that you are messaging the right firm. Take a look at their website and find out who they are interested in, browse their portfolio and see if you can fit among those companies. Check their Crunchbase and Angellist pages. Then answer the following questions:
- Does the VC firm fund companies in your region?
- Does the VC firm fund companies in your industry?
- Does the VC firm fund companies at your stage?
If you get a “yes,” then go ahead and prepare your email. If not, then start researching other investors.
- Personalize your email
Pick a particular investor who you will be emailing to. Writing to the right person will increase your chances to get a response. When sending an email, be sure to address your recipient by the name. Let them know that you have done your homework and looked into their bio. If you have some common ground or share common contacts, highlight this information in your email. If there is something that makes you admire the person, don’t hesitate to write about it.
If you are writing to several investors, never CC them. Craft a different email to each person.
- Add some kind flattery
As said above, it doesn’t hurt writing some pleasant things to the person you are contacting. Tell them how you admire their work, or how you liked their speech at a conference you attended or their article you’ve read, or congratulate them on the recent success of their portfolio company. Be careful though: too much flattery will likely to play against you.
- Be specific
Provide as much information about your company as possible, but do it in a concise way. Write a short one-sentence introductions followed by an overview of your business model, your market opportunities, how innovative your idea is, and how much progress you have already made (you can do this by including a KPI dashboard). Think your pitch through: let it be attention-grabbing, original, and professional.
- Include a professional signature
Never send a business email without a business email signature. Make sure that you have one that provides information on who you are, what company you represent, and how your recipient can contact you. Use corporate colors and fonts in your signature and include a company logo. As an option, you can use a banner to brighten up your message and provide a vivid clickable link to your product or business page.
- Have a call to action
Be specific about what you want your potential investor to do next. Suggest a call or a meeting, tell them how to proceed in case they are interested. Let them know you respect their time and, therefore, can be available when it’s convenient for them.
- Follow up
If you didn’t get a response from the investor, do not despair. Keep chasing them, but not too intensively. Follow up with them after some time (for example, in a couple of weeks). Sometimes your persistence can do wonders. The most important thing you should bear in mind here is: never send the same email as a follow-up. Review the pitch, improve the message, and be ultimately polite.
Cold-calling does not always lead to a deal. Nevertheless, it is definitely worth trying to approach potential investors this way. Even if you don’t get a response, don’t give up. You can always try again later — next time make sure you are better prepared.